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UGC sets up Task Force to examine CityU's revised vet school proposal

The University Grants Committee (UGC) has set up a Task Force to examine a revised proposal1 for a publicly-funded School of Veterinary Medicine (vet school) in Hong Kong as put forward by the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) in December 2012.

The Task Force will study CityU's vet school proposal, with due regard to the general case for establishment of such provision in Hong Kong, in accordance with its terms of reference. Its membership comprises overseas and local experts in veterinary medicine and life sciences, as well as those who are familiar with the higher education sector in Hong Kong. Professor Roland Chin Tai-hong, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the University of Hong Kong and the former Chairman of the Research Grants Council, serves as the Convenor of the Task Force. Other members include Professor John Edwards, Professor Willard Fee, Mr Irving Koo Yee-yin, Professor Mark Markel and Professor Yeoh Eng-kiong. The terms of reference and brief profile of each of the Members are at the Annex I and Annex II respectively. While details of the work schedule will be formulated by the Task Force, the initial tentative target is to submit a report to the UGC and subsequently the Administration by the end of this year.

"In view of the proposed publicly-funded vet school for Hong Kong and its implications such as societal needs, job market and considerable investment from the government, the Task Force will consider all the essential issues from multiple perspectives. We shall look into options concerning veterinary education and research in higher education in Hong Kong and assess the implications of such options for the consideration of the UGC and the Administration. The CityU proposal will be considered in that context. We shall keep an open mind and maintain a close dialogue with all stakeholders throughout the process," Professor Chin said.

1For background information, please refer to:
CityU submitted a proposal to the UGC for the establishment of a publicly-funded vet school in 2009. Having examined the academic, clinical, and accreditation prospects as well as the financial aspects of that proposal, and having regard to the Administration's views at the time on the demand for veterinarians, the UGC then did not support the proposal.